The Toronto Maple Leafs have have finally hired a new head coach for the Toronto Marlies and, as TSM's rumour posited, it will be Dallas Eakins. David Shoalts and Paul Hunter reported the news last night. I'll have to leave the judgments on Eakins' suitability for the position to those more familiar with his work within the organization. It's hard to know how to judge assistant coaches without being aware of each's responsibilities. I think most Leafs fans are just glad to know that Greg Gilbert will not be behind the bench with the influx of young talent heading towards the farm team this year.Dallas joined the organization in 2005 as an assistant coach with Paul Maurice's coaching staff. When Maurice was promoted to the Head Coach position with the big club Eakins made the jump along with him. Since the purge of Maurice's coaching staff (yet another purge which Keith Acton managed to survive) Eakins has been the Director of Player Development where, as Steve notes, among other things he's been running the rookie camps and helping the Leafs' prospects make the psychological and physical jump to the AHL and NHL levels. Makes sense because he has had a lot of experience in the minor leagues. I bet he wishes he could get his hands on Mikhail Grabovski's hair.
Here are a couple of LeafSpace videos with Mike Ulmer interviewing Dallas Eakins about some of the Leafs' prospects. This one focuses on Chris Didomenico, Tyler Bozak, Viktor Stalberg, and Dale Mitchell.
The second one looks at Mikhail Stefanovich, Joel Champagne, and Carl Gunnarsson.